Features Reader Roundtable

Reader Roundtable Vol. 08

This month, we have something special for all our readers. We’ve devoted this installment to the release of Super Fighter Team’s great RPG Beggar Prince. A brand new Genesis release is a rare thing, and this is definitely a game that should be in every collection. Though the contributions this month were fewer (expect that to return to normal with next month’s edition), those who have played the game have a lot of love to share.


Beggar Prince By Ken Horowitz

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last six months or so, you’re undoubtedly aware of my excitement about Beggar Prince. It’s been all my Genesis has been fed these last three weeks since my copy arrived, and while I could have plowed through it in a few days (thanks to some great tips from our forum members), I’ve instead been rationing out the goodness so that it will last me. This is a special occasion for Genesis owners, and there’s good reason to make it last as long as possible. It’s not just the game itself I admire; I’m still finding myself flipping through Beggar Prince‘s full-color manual, and more than once I’ve been known to lovingly stare at the cartridge as it sits proudly in my console. A thing of beauty, I tell ya!

Yet even as I enjoy this great RPG, I find myself thinking about Super Fighter Team’s next release (there will be one; you can bet on it!). I can think of at least three Chinese games I’d love to see come stateside, and hopefully Beggar Prince will be the start of something big. There are less than a hundred copies left, so get while the gettin’s good and snag a copy. You won’t be sorry!

Beggar Prince By Nick Gibson

All of us who bought Beggar Prince had our fingers crossed, hoping fervently that the premium cost was indicative of premium quality. Super Fighter Team repeatedly said they would provide us with an old-school Action RPG experience to remember, and I think that they made good on that promise. Possibly the only rat in the works is the beta testing – bug reports are flooding in from all corners, ranging in gravity from innocuous graphical glitches to serious problems with the game flow that can ruin hours of play. (Here’s a hint: don’t leave the Pyramid until you get the Quicksand Boots.) But even this can be prevented through judicious use of Beggar Prince‘s four save slots.

In the end, the scale is tipped overwhelmingly towards a thumbs-up verdict. A variety of colorful graphics complement clever dialogue; suitably whimsical music contrasts with thunderous combat scenes; rewarding side quests and dungeons make the lengthy adventure anything but tedious. The simpler style of statistics and equipment management are welcome in a world of increasingly complex RPGs, and even the process of leveling up seems like less of the chore it is in comparable titles. Hats off to Brandon Cobb and company for their superb job, and here’s to many more playthroughs of Beggar Prince! (Thanks to the replaceable save battery, we’ll all be able to save Shatt Kingdom well into our sixties.)

Beggar Prince By Steven Kenyon

After years of waiting for a new Genesis game to arrive, it finally has in the form of a turn based RPG known as Beggar Prince. Unlike most RPGs, Beggar Prince focuses on only one character, Prince Steven, rather than a group of characters. Also there is no monetary system, and new weapons are automatically equipped. Many of the events are either dialogue triggered or they are hinted at in the dialogue, so if you miss something in the conversations, it can take quite a while to figure out what next to do. The random battles can at times become tedious, however there is an option which will make the prince attack every turn without user input, which makes them less so. Although there are a few bugs that slipped through testing and the music is nothing special, the game is still thoroughly enjoyable. The plot is intriguing, and the gameplay, in my mind is as good as the majority of RPGs available today.

 Beggar Prince By Carl-Johan Brax

In an old school way, Beggar Prince forces the player to do much of the dirty work him/herself. Meaning, most of the red thread of the plot comes forward by thinking, talking, trying and doing stuff. This really gives a great challenge, instead of just letting the character conversations tell you where to go, something I find too common in modern RPGs. You will surely be forced to try out many unlikely uses of your inventory. The battle system is quite innovative. With a time meter, starting with 100 stamina points (SP), the prince begins the battle with his commands, and acts until the meter is empty. Normal attacks take 20 SP, items 10 SP and spells 30 SP and above. The meter also slowly decreases when choosing commands. When the prince is finished with his commands, all the enemies use one 100 SP meter until it’s the turn of the prince again. I really enjoyed this original SP meter system. From what I’ve heard, something similar is going to be used in the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII! Who knows if Square-Enix were inspired by C&E in this case? Something I found very irritating about the battles were “the 6 enemies against 1 prince”-types, which were too long, monotonic and common. Many great boss battles almost make up for that, though.

When it comes to fan projects, I can fully understand that technical problems slip through the final production phase. In the case of Beggar Prince, we have some bugs that will irritate you. Some minor graphical ones, like yellow waterfalls (!) on village houses. That can be tolerated, but worse is when the games freezes and the only solution is the reset button. It happened me when I spoke to the fairy king and several times in battles. The game also locks you in if you revisit the king and princess of the natives after you’re finished with that scenario. My tip to you is to save often and escape from battle as fast as you can if you see anything wrong with the graphics.

Aside from all technical limitations, Beggar Prince offers a very long exciting quest, with many tricky problems to solve. The prince is a really funny protagonist (unlike mute ones like Crono of Chrono Trigger and any Shining Force leader), with a cocky attitude I really like. The plot may not be too intriguing, but there is always something interesting to see there and many characters to talk to. Multiple endings will give you a big reason to return to this game once you’ve played through it. If you call yourself a retro gamer and have any interest in RPGs, you should be ashamed of yourself if you don’t buy Beggar Prince, considering this is a landmark in retro gaming history and quite cheap as well. I know it is the start of something new and will be as happy as I was when it arrived, the day the next release to the Mega Drive comes. All hail Super Fighter Team for the release of Beggar Prince!

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